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In George Weigel’s new book ‘Lessons in Hope’ this is the primary rejection of traditionalists’ rejection of the canonization of Pope John Paul II and the Vatican II council:

“The formal investigative process included testimony from serious critics of John Paul II, including the schismatic followers of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Their large dossier accused the Pope of just about everything in the Lefebvrist parade of horribles—but not, it seemed, liturgical abuses, thus confirming what John Paul II had said: the Lefebvrist rejection of Vatican II was primarily a matter of the Council’s endorsement of religious freedom, its openness to interreligious dialogue, and the new emphasis to placed on a Church engaging the world. (p. 334)

Of course, not all traditional Catholics are in the SSPX but their condemnations of me ring similar to those attested by myself that are full communion with Rome, as well as the Lefebvrist quoted by Weigel. And in my opinion, as I’ve heard many traditionalists in full communion with Rome mention with admiration with Marcel Lefebvre; they’re closeted support of these beliefs are deafening.

In fact, if one goes to the SSPX website on the topic of Pope John Paul II’s canonization, it’s filled in my opinion with a diatribe of illogical condemnations of the canonization of Pope John Paul II:

“If John Paul II is a saint, his theology must be irreproachable, down to the smallest detail.” (This isn’t true because the theology of Saint Augustine can be troublesome at times…)


“If John Paul II is truly a saint, the Catholic faithful must recognize the value of the religious witness of the Jewish people[4]. They must then condemn the example of Pedro de Arbues (1440–1485), Grand Inquisitor of Aragon, who was martyred by Jews in hatred of the Catholic faith.” (This is quite the logical leap, no one has to do anything here.)

The SSPX objection is ironically against Catholic Doctrine because when a Pope declares one a Saint he uses the language of papal infallibility publicly which the SSPX hold that the papacy cannot declare an error in their infallibility by the protection of the Holy Spirit:

“In honor of the Holy Trinity, for the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the increase of the Christian life, with the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul and of Our Own, after long reflection, having invoked divine assistance many times and listened to the opinion of many of our Brothers in the Episcopate, We declare and define as Saint Blessed N. and inscribe his/her name in the list of the saints and establish that throughout the Church they be devoutly honored among the saints.”

The website Shamless Popery lists all sort of other reasons but theologically there’s no more convincing than the language of infallibility which leaves the SSPX and Traditionalists who claim that recent Popes who are canonized are not Saints in Heaven:

Option A: False Canonizations

Option B: Saints in Heaven

The logical implication is that the line of Popes and the doctrine of infallibility doctrine have rendered that the SSPX must accept these Popes as Saints (which will get more interesting with the future canonization of Pope Paul VI) find themselves outside of the Church by their rejection of infallibility of the magisterium.